Improved M.J. Stewart: “I Didn’t Study Film Like I Should Have”

August 15th, 2019

Second-year cornerbacks, second-round picks M.J. Stewart (left) and Carlton Davis.

Joe can’t go there with Carlton Davis, but Joe certainly can call Davis’ fellow cornerback M.J. Stewart an improved player from the 2018 NFL Draft.

There are have been all kinds of summer signs that Stewart looks faster, stronger and more confident. And that’s a great thing because the first of the Bucs’ two second-round picks last season looked slow and tentative as as rookie last year.

In a new feature, team reporter Casey Phillips asked Stewart what he would tell his rookie self today.

Stewart explained that he’d guide himself to be more on the details, especially watching film. “I didn’t study film like I should have,” Stewart said.

Whether that was because coaches and veterans didn’t guide him, or because he just hadn’t developed a professional work ethic yet, is unclear.

Regardless, Stewart might be the lead dog right now in the competition for the Bucs’ top nickel back job.

He also reveals in the video below that he loves to trash talk and does it often, and he challenges himself to cage his football dawg, so it doesn’t appear in everyday life.

28 Responses to “Improved M.J. Stewart: “I Didn’t Study Film Like I Should Have””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If we can start getting production from MJ Stewart, Cappa, Spence, VH3, ROJO and others that have been sidelined…..all things are possible.

  2. lowercaseg Says:

    After his performance in the Chicago game, I’ll never have confidence in MJ.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    There are some things better left unsaid and this is one of them.

  4. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Rookie get schooled by OC’s…as will Devin White

  5. firethecannons Says:

    I cant go there with carlton davis either–he don’t seem even a little spectacular

    Ryan Smith and VH3 have had a strong camp

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Backup possible nickel corners/special teamers

    You need core plug and play players that are set for 6 plus years

    Donte Jackson and Greedy Williams position doesnt need to be addressed year after year

    You need definite 3 core draft picks every year. In 3 years you should be playoff ready

    2 years ago we had a better record than the 4 win colts and winless clev browns. with a competent GM and 3 plug and play draft picks, they are over 10 win playoff ready team

    We are in the level of the Cinn and Mia teams BUT we want to win while those teams are tanking for the top 2 QBs in the draft

    We are a Bad pitiful team mostly on the defensive side


    Kobe Faker

  7. Snook Says:

    Why are we still judging players based on their performance in Mike Smith’s crappy defense???

  8. NOSBOS Says:

    Sik’em M.J.

  9. Clodhopper Says:

    What is it with people that get this far, to the best of the best on the entire planet and think they can just wing it?

  10. Jimmy Says:

    >>> “I didn’t study film like I should have,” <<<

    Neither did Jason Licht.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    Jimmy Says:
    August 15th, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    >>> “I didn’t study film like I should have,” <<<
    Neither did Jason Licht.

    or smitty

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    Where are all the yahoos who declared him a bust since the day he was drafted until BA was hired?

  13. Todd Says:

    As long as “trash” doesn’t translate to “penalties” I’m sure young M.J. won’t have BA’s size twelve up his arsenal.

  14. Frank Pillow Says:

    Last year he was too small (no length) and too slow. I’m sure film study and a new scheme have made a world of difference. 😉

  15. Tom S. Says:

    So our small, slow cornerback who was overdrafted in the second round despite being a senior who hadn’t had an interception in his last two years in college admits to not studying the playbook like he should have.

    Hell of a draft pick you made there Licht. Drafted MJ Stewart over Donte Jackson and Justin Reid did you? Good call there buddy. Glad to see MJ is making an effort this year.

  16. WyldKat Says:

    Better late than never right?

    Maybe Arians and the new staff are rubbing off on ’em in a good way.

  17. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    I forgive MJ. He spent last year in a locker room with McCoy. #93 lol

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    I thought that Jason Licht said that MJ Stewart was being moved to Safety this year. Now he’s the lead candidate for nickel CB? What did I miss Joe?

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    About A month ago they moved him back to corner.

  20. Race to 10 Says:

    I’m sure those trash coaches didnt require anyone to do anything because he still played a lot anyway

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    I hope this is true and he’s not a bust, but I want to see it during a game before I believe it.

    However last year I said, and those who aren’t panic mongers said, it’s possible he’s just a rookie, doesn’t really understand what he’s doing, and is playing slow because of indecision. It’s possible once he got past the year, had another camp, that he’s play faster. Now, with that said, it was hard to stick to that belief as you’d watch guys run past him on every play over and over again, but if MJ really does turn it around and is productive, then it’s another example of why you don’t write off guys because of a bad rookie season. Peoples expectations of rookies are unbelievable, they think if they don’t come in and produce day 1 that they’re a bust, when that’s never been the case.

    Ronde Barber is a great example of that, he barely played his rookie year and I think the snaps he did have were mostly on special teams, if social media was a thing at the time people would be saying he was a bust and I’d swear I remember people calling talk radio saying how the Bucs wasted a pick on him. Or look at John Lynch, early on he was not a good player, he was too slow for the NFL, Barry Sanders literally juked him out of his shoes – but through pure hard work and being the smartest guy in the room he made himself a HOFer (should be – and it’s a fantastic story).

    So with that said MJ isn’t Ronde or Lynch- but if he can turn it around and be a productive player, people need to keep him in mind before labelling every guy that has a bad preseason game a bust. Or if you need another example look at last year when 90% of the people on this board were calling Vita by his nickname Velcro because he wasn’t doing anything. Now 90% of people were saying he’s going to have 15 sacks and a Warren Sapp like career because he had one good game. In other words people need to chill out on rookies, good or bad.

  22. mark2001 Says:

    TBBF…thanks..exactly what I’ve been saying. We really don’t know how talented and great some of these guys may be…with the right coaching and culture, instilling the proper work attitude. By the end of the year, we will separate the wheat from the chaff…and know where our holes really are. So I refused to call anyone a “bust” the last couple of years..but I think we will know after this year, who has it and who doesn’t.

  23. BridleOaks Buc Says:

    He was drafted ahead of Davis, when everyone said Davis should’ve been drafted ahead of Stewart. Maybe Licht knows what he’s been evaluating. Maybe he has been a victim of bad coaching staff as well

  24. Brandon Says:

    I love people judging players that didn’t perform in their rookie seasons. Guys like Ronde Barber, Humphries, Lynch, Sapp, Quarles, Brian Kelly, and others either barely played or underperformed as rookies. And guys like Cadillac Williams, Mike Clayton, TE Alex Smith, Tanard Jackson, and Wayne Haddix looked like future Hall of Famers as rookies and had very disappointing careers.

    Do not judge a player’s potential off of their first season. Players grow more between seasons one and two than any other time. MJ Stewart was a standout in college and was a stud at the Senior Bowl. He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s strong, he reminds me a lot of Barber as a young player. The jury is still out on him. It’s stupid to write a player off this early.

  25. mark2001 Says:

    BridleOaks…bingo…I think Licht has been just as frustrated, seeing guys he thought had real talent, languish and stagnate, failing to develop, destroying his reputation, in the Lovie Smith/ Koetter era.

  26. mark2001 Says:

    And Brandon…that was during the years when we had some real coaches in the Dungy staff. Takes time…and with a lousy culture and poor coaching…can take for ever. Or at least until the guys with a career left go elsewhere.

  27. BA FAN Says:

    BA was right about us having good players that Licht brought for us. The Dolphins are not a pushover as many of the media thought. We know Fitz is a good player and they won their first Preseason Game this year, but I predict we will beat them tomorrow. The next game we will have an uphill battle. I watched the Browns dominate the Redskins and the Browns have more top athletes that they have accumulated and got a hot new QB too along with proven WRs and Chubb as their RB and they promoted their successful OC to HC and he has been mentored by BA in the past and they are a Great Team who will go far this year. I don’t think we will beat them, but BA will have us ready to whip an improved 49er Team in our opening game. Trust BA. He is the real deal and we will do well this year!

  28. Bran Says:

    As long as Carlton Davis isnt getting beat like a drum like MJ was, i dont care about spectacular. He isnt giving up big gains and very physical in the run game. Best CB we have